One for the Northern Soul collectors, what a voice! Blown away by this album. “In the last two decades, Little Ann’s music has gone from being almost unheard to celebrated widely across the world. Initially known only as a footnote for having one side of one Ric-Tic single in 1968, the discovery and playing of her acetate of ‘What Should I Do’ at Wigan Casino in the late 70s meant her name become important to rare soul fans (when it was revealed that Little Ann was the real singer of the song erroneously attributed to Rose Valentine at the time).”

Once Ace Records acquired Dave Hamilton’s Detroit studio tapes, through the auspices of researcher Richard Gilbert, more previously unheard gems … More

A vinyl-only 14-track collection of the Cincinnati trio’s best Fraternity recordings. A brief appearance on Billboard magazine’s Bubbling Under chart belies the fact that the Charmaines were Cincinnati’s leading 1960s girl group. Formed by Marian “Gigi” Jackson, Dee Watkins and Irene Vinegar, the group was awarded a contract with Fraternity Records for winning a talent show in 1960. Gigi’s sister Jerri sang on many of the group’s records but was too young to perform in nightclubs. When Dee left to get married, Jerri joined as a full-time member.

By the time the Charmaines’ contract with Fraternity had run its course, the group had relocated to Canada. “We’d had … More

Maxine Brown has been popular in the black music world since 1960. ‘All In My Mind’, her hit debut, is cited as one of the first soul records but it was not until she moved to the Wand label in 1963 that her career really took off. Maxine’s golden period included her signature hit ‘Oh No, Not My Baby’ & beautiful ballads such as ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ & ‘Gotta Find A Way’. These are loved in the UK but it was her less familiar, uptempo Wand releases that turned her from an admired artist to a soul goddess on the Northern Soul scene. The hard-to-find ‘One In A Million’ and ‘Let Me Give You My Lovin’’ were played at rare soul dances for many years, attaining classic status on the scene, despite not selling enough to chart in the USA at the time of release.

Interestingly, when her run of solo R&B hits dried up Maxine continued to reach the pop charts with ‘One Step … More

Our “Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities” CDs have showcased high quality 60s and early 70s records beloved of collectors and dancers. The series has proved much appreciated by the soul cognoscenti, making this new vinyl edition a necessity. Tracks such as Marva Holiday’s ‘It’s Written All Over My Face’ and Darrow Fletcher’s Detroit-produced ‘What Good Am I Without You’ were played at the famous Northern Soul venues of yesteryear but got lost in the waves of 70s discoveries. They have improved with age. Later discoveries are just plain elusive or horrifically expensive. Salt & Pepper, a multiracial group of US GIs stationed in Bangkok, pressed the 250-500 run of ‘A Man Of My Word’ in Thailand in 1970 – an extremely scarce record that took many years to find before becoming a rare soul standard. The Antellects’ ‘Love Slave’ was played by 100 Club DJ Shifty in the 90s and very few copies have found their way into the hands of collectors.

Vinly LP available in store and online.

As one of Jamaica’s leading record producers Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid embraced the new reggae sound. London-based reggae giant Trojan Records brought together a dozen of his finest works under the title “Greater Jamaica Moonwalk Reggae”. If features many of the biggest Jamaican hits from 1969 to 1970. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics is one of the main artists to be found on this record. The 12 tracks bringing the best Jamaica had to offer during the heydays of their musical days.

Reissue LP available in store and online.

The period of 1967-1968 when rocksteady was in full flow, would also be a turning point for Bunny “Striker” Lee, when he became a producer in his own right. Many of the great tunes during this eventful year came out of his stable and initially saw the light of day on his own imprint label “Lee’s”. Jumping With Mr. Lee has been assembled from some of those fine tunes and tells the story of reggae in what was a stellar time for both reggae and Mr Bunny Lee. Edward “Bunny” Lee, later to become known as “Striker”, got his introduction to the music business around 1962 when his future brother in law singer Derrick Morgan introduced Bunny to producer Duke Reid, who gave him a job as record plugger for his Treasure Isle label.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

“I stopped the music at the Mecca and made an announcement; ‘This is a very special record that I heard on the radio in Miami and it’s taken me 7 months to find it. You have to trust me, it’s not like your normal Northern Soul record, its got something special. Give it a chance and you’ll love it like I do.’ So, I played it and a few people danced to it. Within an hour I had over 100 requests to play it again and I played it 3 times that night. Inside two weeks it stood to epitomise the sound of Blackpool Mecca and paved the way for other, similar sounding records to follow.” Ian Levine.

The record in question is, of course, our opening track “It Really Hurts Me Girl” by the Carstairs and the … More

Sixties Mod band The Action only released six singles in their lifetime – or seven, if you count a pre-Action single by The Boys – but their legend has grown exponentially since their demise in 1968. The Action was the first band signed by Beatles producer George Martin after he left EMI to set up his own company Air Productions. In due course, he produced the band’s five singles issued on Parlophone between 1965 and 1967 as well as tracks intended for a never-released album.

The New Action imagines what the band’s album – which was announced at the time in the press – might … More

Out this Friday, pre-order here. Ready, Steady, Otis! Side One features the Ready Steady Go, Otis Redding Special TV show in 1966. All the tracks on Side Two come from a session recorded for Swedish Radio in June 1967. On the weekend of Saturday 9th December, Otis and his new road band, the Bar-Kays, recorded three songs for ABC’s “Upbeat”. These were to be Otis’s last live recordings, and you can hear them on tracks 6-8 of Side One. These vintage shows have not featured on vinyl before.

Released 2nd August, pre-order here.

Coming soon, pre-order it here. In the last two decades, Little Ann’s music has gone from being almost unheard to celebrated widely across the world. Initially known only as a footnote for having one side of one Ric-Tic single in 1968, the discovery and playing of her acetate of ‘What Should I Do’ at Wigan Casino in the late 70s meant her name become important to rare soul fans (when it was revealed that Little Ann was the real singer of the song erroneously attributed to Rose Valentine at the time).

Once Ace Records acquired Dave Hamilton’s Detroit studio tapes, through the auspices of researcher Richard Gilbert, more previously unheard gems … More